Armistice Day, or more commonly known as Remembrance Day, is all about the armed forces, both past and present. It reflects on the fallen and lost troops who laid down their lives, not only in World Wars but also in more recent conflicts across the world. In commemorating Remembrance Day, we recall the sacrifices they have made and also consider the bravery of those who currently serve.
This year, 15 Welbeck students were lucky enough to go to the Royal Albert Hall in London to join with members of the public and service personnel at the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance. The Festival of Remembrance reflects on those who have fallen but also serves to help raise money to support veterans and service families.
When we arrived, we were split into two groups, those selling poppies or programmes and those who were assisting and supporting disabled visitors. I was overwhelmed to see first hand the generosity of people. It was an honour to play a small part in such a great cause. It was a phenomenal experience.
There were various performances, including some that celebrated 100 years of females in the military, 75 years since the Battle of El Alamein and 75 years of the RAF regiment and I’m sure not one person can say they were not touched by the service. It was a moving experience that none of us will forget. As a snare drummer, I particularly enjoyed seeing the Royal Marines and the band drill they displayed. It has been inspirational and has shown me the variety of skills and the progression I can make. The day was rounded off with 8 of our group being fortunate enough to form a guard of honour for the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family. Although the performances and experiences were inspirational, the moment that will stay with me was when the poppies fell from the ceiling during the two minute silence. This was a time to reflect and think upon those who have fallen for their country. I was also moved to hear the families of the fallen tell their stories.
This entire experience was incredible as it meant so much to myself and the other students who were lucky enough to attend. Not only did it give me the opportunity to reflect but also to look forward into my own future in the services and what it will mean for myself, my friends and my family. It was a long but rewarding day which I was honoured to take part in to help remember the sacrifices made for me and others in conflict around the world.